‘Cancel Brexit’ petition surpasses 4 million signatures to become most popular ever | TribLIVE.com

‘Cancel Brexit’ petition surpasses 4 million signatures to become most popular ever

The Washington Post
A Pro-Brexit leave the European Union supporter takes part in a protest outside the Houses of Parliament in London.

LONDON — Can Brexit be stopped? A force of exasperated Brits are trying.

A petition calling for Prime Minister Theresa May to revoke Article 50 and remain in the European Union surpassed 4,151,000 signatures on Saturday, becoming the most popular petition ever hosted on the British Parliament website.

The previous record was held by a 2016 petition calling for a second referendum on Brexit. That one garnered 4,150,262 total signatures. A petition to prevent President Trump from making a state visit to Britain received nearly 1.9 million signatures in 2017.

Britain’s government responds to all petitions that gain more than 10,000 signatures and considers for debate all petitions that receive more than 100,000 signatures.

The “Stop Brexit” petition is also the fastest growing on record. Launched on February 20, it has taken off in recent days. On Thursday morning, the petition had racked up more than 800,000 signatures. By Thursday afternoon, nearly 2,000 signatures being added every minute, according to a House of Commons spokesperson. By Friday, the signatures had risen to 3 million.

Because of the sheer volume of traffic to the site and people fighting to add their names, the site went down at least twice – drawing comparisons online to the “failing” British government.

In a speech at Downing Street this past week, May portrayed herself as on the side of the people in wanting to make Brexit happen. Those signing the petition contest that claim.

“The government repeatedly claims exiting the EU is ‘the will of the people.’ We need to put a stop to this claim by proving the strength of public support now, for remaining in the EU. A People’s Vote may not happen — so vote now,” the petition reads.

“Incredible. The #RevokeArticle50 petition has now passed 2.5 million signatures in a couple of days. Does Theresa May ever pause to consider that she is risking jobs, the economy, national security, and our global influence for something that the public does not even want?” lawmaker David Lammy tweeted Friday.

While some have expressed astonishment at the climbing number, others have been more skeptical, suspecting that bots and people using false details to claim British citizenship or residency could be involved. That’s what happened with the 2016 second referendum petition, and thousands of signatures were eventually removed.

The surge of signatures comes just days before Brexit was supposed to happen. March 29 was the original departure date. But E.U. leaders granted Britain a reprieve this week, extending the deadline to at least April 12. If Parliament approved May’s withdrawal deal this coming week, that extension could be longer.

In another sign of the momentum behind the anti-Brexit movement, thousands of people converged on central London on Saturday for a “People’s Vote” march, calling for a second referendum.

Categories: News | World
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.